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Massachusetts candidate for state office claims he encountered racism on campaign trail

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With only days left until the midterm election takes place, a Republican candidate for state Representative in Massachusetts says he came face-to-face with racism on the campaign trail last week at the hands of a Democratic official.

Marcus Vaughn, who is running for state representative in Massachusetts’ 9th Norfolk District told the Boston Herald that upon arriving outside a studio last week ahead of a debate between himself and his Democratic opponent Kevin Kalkut, he engaged in a verbal exchange that he says quickly turned racist. 

According to Vaughn, Wrentham Democratic Town Committee Chairman Tom Brown shook Vaughn’s hand and refused to let go.

Vaughn says Brown pulled him close and asked him how he could be a Republican. Vaughn replied, “You mean, because I’m a Black man?” Brown responded, “Yes.” 

Vaughn says he was taken aback, and fired back, “It’s so insensitive that you would put me in a box — I am not monolithic. The fact that you have that view is totally disgusting.”

Following the debate, Brown resigned from the Wrentham Democratic Town Committee, and Vaughn’s opponent publicly addressed the incident.

“Upon arriving I was immediately briefed and without hesitation sought out my opponent to offer my sincere apologies and made sure that the individual was removed from the stand-out,” Kalkut said. “My campaign has a zero-tolerance policy for all forms of discrimination and I made it very clear to everyone that this is not acceptable or will ever be tolerated.”

Vaughn said he had been warned ahead of time that protesters may be present outside the studio when he arrived, but he was taken aback by the conversation he had with Brown.

“I was trying to be cordial, but this man continued to hold his grip on my hand, pull me closer to him, to get his two cents he wanted to get in,” said Vaughn, “on why I was basically the enemy being a Black person and being a conservative.”

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